No matter what your holiday traditions might be, there's a bowl for the occasion. Office holiday parties next week? There's a game for almost every evening. Need something to watch to distract yourself from awkward conversations with relatives on Christmas Eve? Time for Memphis vs. Hawai'i in the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl! Need some background noise for your Christmas afternoon coma/nap? It's Georgia State vs. Ball State in the TaxAct Camellia Bowl!
Between Friday and Jan. 4, 43 bowls will kick off, from the Bahamas to Boise and everywhere in between. There are loads of interim coaches, opt-outs grow more common every year, and it probably goes without saying that your cranky uncle will tell you all about how, grumble grumble, there are too many bowls nowadays, and back in his day they really mattered. Ignore him. College football is here to provide a slow and steady trickle of entertainment value for your holiday season, and there are plenty of storylines to follow along the way. Here are the 10 biggest questions I have for the 2021-22 bowl season.
Who shows up?
Bowl season can often serve as a hinge between the past season and the upcoming offseason. Key players opt out, interim coaches are everywhere, some teams mentally checked out a couple of weeks prior, and the games are therefore a little bit less predictable or reflective of the season we just witnessed.
Over the past five seasons, 41% of bowls have finished with a scoring margin more than 14 points from the spread, compared to 36% of regular-season games. Over the course of 40-plus games, that translates to a couple more nonsensical results than normal.